After 3 years since Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, couple of former Internet calling or messaging service staff are introducing a new messaging application.
Co-founder of Skype Janus Friis is behind a new communication application called Wire. Which is now available for iOS, Android and Mac OS X. The app itself is the reimagining of how a communications tool like Skype should operate had it been built today. We can expect much under-the-hood improvements that users don't necessarily see, such as advancements in media processing, audio technology, file compression and delivery etc.
Wire pairs this more solid infrastructure with an uncluttered, simple design that will likely be the initial attraction for mainstream users.
Skype no doubt, is one of the top communication apps around the globe, but users still experience issues with call quality, connection problems, synchronization and more.
"Skype was launched more than a decade ago. A lot has changed since then - we are all used to free calls and texting, and we have taken to carrying our computers in our pockets," said Friis in a statement about Wire's launch. "It is time to create the best possible communication tools, as beautiful as they are useful," he says. "Wire is just that."
Wire has a strong team with deep backgrounds in communications, including those who worked in product and technology at Apple, Skype, Nokia and Microsoft. Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Christensen has been in Internet communications for 15 years, having previously worked on MSN Messenger and Lync at Microsoft, and then later co-founded audio-processing software company Camino Networks, which was later acquired by Skype.
Co-founder Alan Duric (CTO) also co-founded Camino, as well as Telio, a VoIP company similar to Vonage. Wire's head of product design Priidu Zilmer previously led design teams at Vdio and Skype. And Wire's Chief Scientist Koen Vos created the audio compression format SILK and co-created the audio coding format Opus.
At this stage, we cannot say Wire is a Skype replacement, but we can expect it will come up with a good success in near future.
Wire works as both a mobile and desktop app, that allows users to share text, pictures, audio and other rich media, including content from SoundCloud and YouTube. But it currently lacks video support for either real-time video chat or asynchronous recordings, though it plans to add this and other features later on, including HTML5 support (soon) and later premium features users may pay for.
The most impressive about the app for a non-technical user is Wire's elegant design, which will appeal more to younger users who grew up with smartphones in their pockets. The gestures like swiping and pulling down on screens to access menus – movements that the mobile app utilizes for things like moving back and forth between chats at the contacts list, for example, or accessing a search box at the top of the screen.
When you want to share a photo, call or "ping" another user, you have to swipe the flashing cursor to the right to reveal the options. If you want to see a message's date and timestamp, you have to tap on it.
End result is a messaging client where the focus is more on the content being shared, rather than the app itself which almost disappears into the background. The app is smart like for instance, as you use the app to chat, it reorganizes your contact list putting those you're most likely trying to reach up at the top.
The company has an undisclosed amount of funding from Friis and Iconical.com, a collection of engineers, executives and designers which serves as a new, non-VC model for investments including Aether (Cone), Rdio, Vivino, Vicarious and others.
"We looked at every single aspect of the landscape," Christensen adds. "We had the context and the history having been in this for quite a long time and having seen the pain points," he says. "We took all of them apart, and rebuilt them the way they should be built... we hope."
You can download the app from the following download links.